PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - Despite Super Bowl 55 driving traffic into the Bay Area, luxury transportation services say they're not seeing the numbers they had anticipated over the last few months. One local business owner says that lack of traffic has taken a large chunk of his business.
Like most small business owners, Marcos Lopez, Owner of Embassy Limousine in Pinellas Park has one goal: stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. He tells CW44 News At 10, "Embassy's been in business for about 30 years, family-owned. Here we are… trying to stay in business through this pandemic." But it's been difficult, he adds, "We're running about 30% of revenue compared to 2019."
And with Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay this week, one might assume limousine bookings are through the roof. While other segments in the Bay Area are still hoping for a lift, Lopez says his segment is hurting. "We start getting phone calls September, October, November of the previous year for corporate groups, events that are happening, for entertainers that are coming in to perform. Last Super Bowl, all our vehicles were booked and I was over-sold by about 15 vehicles probably."
In 2021, over-booking and breaking even are a thing of the past. "We were hoping the Super bowl would be a boost or shot in the arm from what's happened for the last eight or ten months, and unfortunately it's not going to do that for us."
Back in January 2021, the NFL announced 14,000 tickets would be sold and another 7,500 healthcare workers will be in attendance. And although it sounds like a lot of people, Lopez tells CW44 the demand isn't high in his line of business with those numbers.
"15,000 people don't generate a whole lot of demand. Especially when corporate groups aren't bringing - and corporations aren't bringing – incentive groups and so forth, large groups into the area. So the hotels were affected, restaurants were affected, we're affected."
Despite the big game not having the economic impact Lopez was looking forward to, he remains optimistic for the future.
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